Bees leaving the Utah state capital, heading for dawn in southern Jordan. What might this mean for SLC’s Ballpark District.

The Salt Lake Bees of minor league baseball are leaving the capital of Utah for new pastures in the suburbs.

The Los Angeles Angels’ Triple-A affiliate will leave its decades-old home in Salt Lake City’s Ballpark neighborhood at the end of the 2024 season to build a new daybreak stadium in South Jordan.

The team’s owner, Larry H. Miller Corporation, said construction of a new, privately funded stadium would begin this year.

“The team is grateful for the long-standing legacy of baseball in Salt Lake City,” the company said said Tuesday in a statementAnd to the amazing fans and the surrounding community who support the team.

The team’s affiliation with the big league Angels will continue in the new excavations, she noted, adding that the new stadium will be built on unmarked, undeveloped property between the Mountain View Corridor and the TRAX light rail line. He is expected to be in place for the 2025 season.

South Jordan Stadium, the company added, “will serve as a year-round recreational anchor for Salt Lake County’s fast-growing Southwest Quadrant.”

However, the departure of bees from Salt Lake City raises questions about The future of BallparkWhich has always relied on the stadium as a catalyst for development and economic activity. area chart, Last fall was adopted by the City Councilcentered around the stadium and advocated the development of Festival Street at West Temple.

Those plans are still in the works for the neighborhood, said Erin Mendenhall, the mayor of Salt Lake City.

The intersection of West Temple and 1300 South is steeped in baseball history.

The first Bees team played there in 1915 at what would later be called Dirks Field, named after John C. Dirks, former sports editor of the Salt Lake Tribune. Eight decades later, the city agreed to build a new football stadium on the same site to spur a move from the Portland Beavers, a Triple-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins.

Smith’s Ballpark has been home to the Bees since the stadium opened in 1994.

“LHM is excited about the future of Salt Lake City, and will continue to partner with community leaders to enrich and reimagine the neighborhood surrounding the existing stadium,” the company said.

What could replace Smith Ballpark?

Mendenhall said in a news conference Tuesday that, as a fan who attended games with her family, she was disappointed and sad to see the team leave. But, as mayor, she said, she’s excited about the new development opportunity.

“I have incredible confidence, in fact, in the wonderful and unprecedented potential that this neighborhood now has,” the mayor told reporters.

The mayor said the city has big ideas for the plot, from a second home for the US Olympic teams, to housing opportunities, to a row of distilleries. But officials want to hear from the community, too.

Mendenhall also announced that the city is exploring the possibilities for the future of the 13-acre estate and is starting a 60-day design competition to guide its redevelopment.

The winners of the Urban Planning and Design Competition will be announced in May. City officials will submit a formal request for design proposals from developers later this year.

The competition—dubbed “Ballpark Next” by the city—carries $30,000 in prize money.

Above all, Mendenhall said, she wants to see year-round action in anything that replaces a playground.

The mayor promised that the stadium site would not become “an empty pit or a public safety hazard,” and said she was confident anything that might replace the stadium could happen in fall 2024.

While Mendenhall said she’s not the expert on whether the departure of the Bees means a path to the capital of Utah hosting Major League Baseball at some point, she does want to say so.

“Salt Lake City, the capital, should be the center of sports, arts, culture and our economy for the state,” she said. “It is good for the country to have this focus for these disciplines [attractions]. We want to be a partner in any conversations that might come up, and we hope that’s possible.”

Difficult to compete with southern Jordan

As for the city’s relationship with the Larry H. Miller Company, the mayor said, there are no hard feelings. The decision was all business.

The company has purchased about 1,300 acres it wants to develop in Daybreak, Mendenhall said, and that it needed an anchor for the community.

She said, “This is something that is difficult for a built city to compare apples to apples with, and to compete with it.”

Salt Lake County Councilman Dave Alford, whose county includes South Jordan, greeted the team’s pending transfer with excitement.

“As the West Side of the Salt Lake Valley continues to grow, the Miller family will make a significant investment in the area,” he said Tuesday. “I welcome the news and look forward to partnering with the Bees and Daybreak to improve the lives of the residents of the area and the county.”

Larry H. Miller’s company hasn’t said if the team will change its name, but the Bees filed a trademark application last month for “Utah Bees.”

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